Not Tonight

"Not tonight," so many say

Author: P. P. Bilhorn
Tune: [Not tonight so many say]
Published in 6 hymnals

Printable scores: PDF, Noteworthy Composer
Audio files: MIDI

Representative Text

1 "Not tonight," so many say,
And turn from light and life away,
Alas! for some ’twill be too late;
Another night may seal their fate.

Come tonight, O come tonight,
Jesus lovingly doth wait;
Come tonight, O come tonight,
Some other night may be too late.

2 "Not tonight," a man replied,
And turned with careless laugh aside,
But death called loud that very night;
His soul in terror took its flight. [Refrain]

3 "Not tonight! "O trembling heart,
Why longer bid thy Lord depart?
Why will you choose that bitter lot
To hear Him say, "I know you not!" [Refrain]

4 "Not tonight," O sad reply,
When Christ to save you waiteth nigh,
The day of grace may soon be past,
Your cry will be lost, lost at last! [Refrain}

5 "Not tonight," count well the cost,
Should you forevermore be lost?
If Heav’n and bliss you never see,
Where will you spend eternity? [Refrain]

Source: The Cyber Hymnal #11789

Author: P. P. Bilhorn

Pseudonyms: Irene Durfee; P. H. Rob­lin (a an­a­gram of his name). Bilhorn was born on Ju­ly 22, 1865 in Men­do­ta, Il­l­inois. His fam­i­ly name was orig­in­al­ly Pul­horn; it was changed by a judge in Ot­ta­wa, Il­linois, named Abra­ham Lin­coln. Peter and his bro­ther formed the Eu­re­ka Wa­gon and Carriage Works in Chi­ca­go, Il­linois. Lat­er, Pe­ter be­came in­volved in Gos­pel mu­sic and wrote some 2,000 Go­spel songs in his life­time. He al­so invent­ed a folding pump or­gan used at re­viv­als in the late 19th Cen­tu­ry, and found­ed the Bil­horn Fold­ing Or­gan Com­pa­ny in Chi­ca­go, Il­li­nois. His evangelistic work took him into all the states of the Union, Great Britain, a… Go to person page >

Text Information

First Line: "Not tonight," so many say
Title: Not Tonight
Author: P. P. Bilhorn
Language: English
Refrain First Line: Come tonight, O come tonight
Copyright: Public Domain


This hymn was suggested by an incident which occurred during a tent-meeting conducted by the author. One evening the front seat was occupied by a party of young ladies and gentlemen. One of the young men became anxious about his soul and was personally invited by the author to accept Christ. When about to rise, one of the young ladies gave him a significant touch with her foot. This caused him to settle back, laughingly shake his head and say, "not tonight." On their way home that night they derisively re-enacted the solemn scenes of the meeting. One played the preacher, one the singer and the others would rise up for prayer, weep, and then laughingly say, "not tonight." A stump caused the carriage to upset. The horses became frightened and ran away. The young man who became anxious about his soul but said, not tonight was killed.

Peter Bilhorn



The Cyber Hymnal #11789
  • PDF (PDF)
  • Noteworthy Composer Score (NWC)


Instances (1 - 1 of 1)

The Cyber Hymnal #11789

Include 5 pre-1979 instances
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